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Hot Bodies D8

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HB continues our 1/8th scale racing tradition with our brand new buggy, the HB D8! The D8 platform was designed entirely in the USA from the ground up with rigorous competition in mind. Vigorous testing by our team of World Class Drivers has proven that the D8 will not only be the fastest car on the track, but the most forgiving as well, capable of excelling in the hands of both novice and factory pilots. If you’re a serious racer with plans to be in the winner’s circle you’ll want to grab yourself a D8, because once they hit the track, you’ll need one to get there.

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Features

New suspension and chassis design

Optimized Suspension Geometry to attack the of today's off-road tracks.

Centralized Weight Distribution provides superb balance with increased transitional agility.

HB Certified Body

Intimidate the competition with a sleek, no nonsense body that is sure to turn heads.

Jumbo Sized Wheels

Grab a larger piece of turf with the D8's Maxed out wheel dimensions. The largest wheels allowed under ROAR rules, these puppies will put more of your tread on the ground so you can put more of your rivals behind you.

Colossal 16mm Big Bore Shocks

The Super-sized shock package is the largest in its class allowing the D8 to recover from the roughest of landings. Whether you're making a big-air jump pass in the main or taking a flying leap over a building the D8's 16mm Big Bore's will allow you to jump, and land with confidence. (*We do not recommend jumping over buildings.)

4mm chassis

The staunch 4mm 7075 Aluminum chassis is designed to withstand any barrage of obstacles on today's mammoth outdoor tracks. 10 degrees of kick up compliments the suspension package to get the D8 across the finish line ahead of everyone else.

New fuel tank with proven HPI Baja 5B clunk design

Utilizing 1/5th scale technology the D8 implements a new clunk design which will use every drop of fuel whether you're racing to the line, or upside down waiting for a marshal.

One piece radio tray

The one piece tray allows for easy maintenance as it can be removed in one section when you need to clean the dirt off your ride.

One piece engine mounts

A rock solid single piece mount makes removal and installation of your engine as easy as removing 4 screws. The one piece design allows you to set the gear mesh once and not worry about adjustments during maintenance.

Low profile air filter

The new slammed look of the filter not only looks pro, but provides a larger surface area for your engine to breath through.

Captured Hinge Pins

Throw away those pesky E-clips and revel in the D8's captured hinge-pin design. Each pin is secured using button head screws, giving you the ultimate in durability and ease of maintenance.

Athlete on a diet

The D8 has been put on an extensive training program giving it a nimble total running weight of 7.5lbs, with racing gear. (*Actual weight may vary depending on the racing gear you choose)

4.3:1 internal gear ratio

5x11mm clutch bearings

Dimensions:

Chassis Length (from Bumper to rear wing end) no tire: 500mm

Width: 305mm

Wheelbase: 325-328mm

Kit Weight: 3.4kg (7.5lbs) with racing gear

Drive System: 4WD Shaft System

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First things first: I'm not Hara. I don't even play him on TV. However, when I got the task of reviewing the new Hot Bodies D8, I was excited. After all, this is the same platform that Hot Bodies top gun Atsushi Hara used to win the recent IFMAR 1/8 IC Worlds in Charlotte, North Carolina. Interestingly, the D8 is a sub-$400 chassis, and it took the checkered flag against competitors twice its price. In a world where generally the higher the price, the higher the performance, is the D8 really better than its price tag suggests?

FEATURES

Rock Solid
• The trend towards "big-bore" shocks continues, as the D8 is equipped with equal-length, heavy duty 16mm units on all four corners, all tied to its thick 4mm 7075 hard-anodized aluminum chassis. Matching 4mm front and rear CNC'd shock towers and beefy upper turnbuckles round out the suspension setup.

Circuit Box
• Here's one feature of the D8 that I wish was on all nitro vehicles — a one-piece radio tray. The molded tray detaches completely from the chassis with the removal of five screws, and with it you also remove the receiver, receiver pack, and both servos. This maintaining your electronics easy and quick.

Upward Spiral
• The D8 features a 4.3:1 internal ratio, and the drivetrain features three sealed differentials. The front and rear diffs use spiral-cut alloy bevel gears for strength, and the factory-included diff oils are 5000wt., 4000wt., and 1000wt. (front/center/rear).There are no dogbones here — the axles and center drive are all universal shafts, pre-built from the factory.

•Get Picked Up — The fuel tank features a weighted fuel pickup to ensure fuel delivery at any angle.

•Fast Changer — Quick-change three-piece engine mount allows for engine removal without disturbing gear mesh.

•E-Clips Are Dead — The D8 uses captured hinge pins and shock pistons held with locknuts to eliminate the need for annoying E-clips.

•Lean With It — The front and rear kit-included swaybars measure in at 2.4mm and 2.8mm, respectively.

•Adjustable Flight — The rear wing features a four-angle adjustable mount.

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Testing

We here at Xtreme are fortunate to have a facility like Revelation Raceway a stone's throw away, so I found myself there on a sunny afternoon, D8 in hand. Revelation is known to have some killer jumps and intricate corners that look easy until you're on four wheels, and today's layout was no different. The surface was slightly packed dirt, but nothing too soft.

Acceleration and Speed
• Acceleration and speed are two things that can be affected by a lot of things — engine output, clutch bell tooth count, tire traction, and so forth. Regardless of those small details, I had the benefit of a powerful engine that gave the D8 a lot of low-end jump. Top end seemed to be okay, if not a hair slower than I would have wanted; however, I could easily go up a tooth or two for more velocity and still have the low-end response to match.

Rating: 10/9

Braking
• The D8 uses a standard dual disc brake configuration, with two metal plates sandwiching a fiber disc with vent holes for heat dissipation. Thumbwheels allow you to adjust brake response, and after the first pull I had to dial out a lot! With the linkage settings specified in the manual, the D8 had super-responsive brakes �— meaning a full lockup on all fours whenever my trigger finger went forward. Mind you this was with simple metal pads — no fancy friction materials, no exotic material brake disc either. There was no hint of fade throughout testing, even with the sun beating down on the track.

Rating: 10

Low-Speed
• Low speed maneuvering was excellent. The D8's short turning radius made it easy to carve tight lines around the smaller corners without having to let off the throttle in anticipation of understeer. This buggy was really responsive, yet not twitchy. In fact, it was a little too fast at first, but once I got used to how it reacted, I noticed that my lap times were lower, and lower, and lower with each pass. You have to go easy with the throttle to control your steering arc with some vehicles, yet with the D8 you can drive harder.

Rating: 9.5

High-Speed Handling
• The D8's high speed handling is just an extension of its low speed capability. It seems as if HB got the balance right, because during high speed cornering the D8 had a touch of understeer — just enough to keep from spinning, yet not enough to require me to back off the throttle. The box-stock setup made the buggy easy to drive fast. Turn in response at higher velocities was precise, yet the D8 never felt out of control. One small thing I noticed: even with the powerful engine I was running, I could have used a tooth or two higher on the clutchbell to match the length of the straightaway.

Rating: 9

Rough-Track Handling
• I was interested to see how the D8 reacted on rougher surfaces, mainly because of the equal-length shocks on all four corners. Whereas other buggies have longer rears (even Hara used longer rear shocks on his World's-winning ride), the D8 comes stock with four 16x97mm shock bodies. Turns out that that's all it needs when the surface is less than ideal. The D8 handled well on the rough stuff. The chassis stayed level, and the shocks and long arms conformed to the surface as I drove through the course. I have no complaints in this department.

Rating: 10

Jumping
• Ah yes, the thrill of flight. The D8 jumps like its competition. In the air it seems to follow a nice arc, nose slightly up, rotating toward the landing point at just about the right rate. A slight brake tap was all I needed to make the nose come down faster. Downsiding jumps was effortless with this buggy, yet flat landings were different. This is where the shorter rear shocks might not be as ideal, as the rear end of the buggy tended to smack the ground upon landing the larger jumps on the course. However, the D8 stayed composed on landing regardless, and I could smash the throttle down right away once I all four tires touched the ground.

Rating: 9.5

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Wrenching

Maintenance
• To coin a phrase from Skinny, it's pretty much the same working on most 1/8-scale buggies these days. Like other buggies on the market, access to diffs is easy. The radio tray is completely removable in one piece — a plus that isn't immediately realized until it's time to rebuild or clean your ride. Also, all four shocks get rubber boots to protect the shock pistons. Likewise, HB's interesting solid arm design resists packing mud in between the arms' webbing. Finally, there are no e-clips anywhere on this buggy. These small but useful features give the D8 an "A-ok" in the maintenance department.

Rating: 9

Wear and Tear
• HB products are pretty good in the wear and tear department. The D8 is no exception, as the buggy easily handled the rough and tumble of my off-road "skills." I did manage to strip the stock steering servo arm during the first test drive, but replacing it with a reinforced arm and solved that small issue. I didn't sense any slop and I didn't notice and unusual wear or tear after running five tankfuls with guns-a-blazin.' In fact, if you bought yourself a D8, you'd probably worry more about the engine head, as it sticks up above the low-profile body just enough to be exposed in the event of a rollover.

Rating: 9.5

Tuning
• Compared to other competition-spec buggies, the D8 features your standard allotment of adjustments — camber, caster, toe, downstops, etc. Both front and rear shocks are identical in size, and have six different positions. A base setup sheet is included in the manual, but there are no tuning tips whatsoever. Inside the box the only extra tuning parts you get are different shock pistons. It's ok though - all that money you saved by buying the D8 comes in handy for stuff you'll want at the track, such as caster blocks and a few pairs of shock springs.

Rating: 8

Conclusion

I understand why this buggy won the Worlds—and at this price it's a steal! It drove with precision, it jumped like a pro, it handled all the rough stuff with ease — all for about half the entry price of its main competition. The D8 met all expectations, and proved that it's not about the flash (do you see any carbon fiber anywhere?) or the over-engineering (the D8 has a low screw count) — it's about what a buggy should be capable of to win. Word has it that the day after Hara's shocking win, Hot Bodies sold out of their D8s. That said, I'll be waiting for when you get yours, because mine's ready to go — and I love it.

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